Gameweek 22 saw Liverpool host a Swansea side that seem destined for the drop, in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off. Few saw a chance for the Swans, who have struggled all campaign in the Premier League. Manchester United travelled to face Stoke City and former player Mark Hughes at the Bet365 Stadium, with Watford travelling in force to Dean Court to face a free-scoring Bournemouth side looking to bounce back from a disappointing 3-1 defeat at the hands of Hull City. The big match of the weekend though would come on Saturday evening, when Manchester City faced in-form Spurs at the Etihad, with both sides looking for a massive win to kick-on in their title challenges.
So, here’s the FPL Updates gameweek 22 review.
Ben Foster – West Brom faced Sunderland at the Hawthorns on Saturday, and few saw a chance for David Moyes’ Black Cats to pick up the much-needed points to take them clear of the relegation zone. What followed was to be expected, as West Brom made light work of a struggling side, who may need more reinforcements in this final week of the transfer window, are they to pull off yet another miraculous escape from relegation to the Championship. Fans were rather underwhelmed to hear of the signing of Joleon Lescott, who didn’t seem to be in great shape, following images being released from his unveiling at the Stadium of Light.
Seamus Coleman – Few would question the fact that Seamus Coleman is one of the best full-backs in the Premier League, especially when it comes to going forward. He highlighted his attacking prowess yet again, as he netted a dramatic late winner for Everton as the minutes ticked down towards stoppage time at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon. Everton are on strong form at the moment, and seem to have kicked on after their hammering of Manchester City last week. As the game seemed to be heading for a disappointing stalemate, Coleman got in down the right, before lashing the ball past Wayne Hennessey at his near post. Another poor result for Palace.
Gary Cahill – Despite a superb victory over Bournemouth last weekend, Hull were unable to come away from Stamford Bridge with anything despite a spirited performance on Sunday against the league leaders. Diego Costa fired Chelsea in front to silence his critics with regards to recent links to a move to China. Gary Cahill later finished the contest as he headed home the Blues’ second. However, the match was marred by a horror injury to Hull midfielder Ryan Mason, who suffered a fractured skull following a hideous clash of heads with the aforementioned Cahill. We wish him a swift recovery.
Chris Brunt – It’s yet another goal for Northern Ireland international, Chris Brunt, who netted in their 2-0 victory over Sunderland at the Hawthorns. After a cross was cleared to the edge of the box, Chris Brunt ran onto the ball before lashing home on the full volley to the delight of the Baggies fans. It’s no surprise from Brunt, whose reputation for stunning goals has never been in question. He’s been moved further forward this season with the emergence of Allan Nyom at left-back, and West Brom and Tony Pulis are reaping the rewards.
Cedric – Southampton put Leicester to the sword on Sunday, with the Saints putting past Kasper Schmeichel three times without response. James Ward-Prowse opened the scoring, with his first goal in 22 matches for the Saints. It was then a teasing delivery from Ward-Prowse that lead to their second, with the ball falling to an unmarked Jay Rodriguez at the back post, slotting past Schmeichel on the half-volley. Dusan Tadic rounded off the victory with a penalty after Wes Morgan brought down Shane Long late on.
Gareth McAuley – Gareth McAuley has always been a threat in the opposition box, and proved it yet again as he assisted against Sunderland on Saturday. The big Northern-Irishman rose highest to nod on a corner to Darren Fletcher, who made no mistake in giving West Brom the lead. The victory means things go from bad to worse for Sunderland and Moyes, who have struggled to add to their ranks with the kind of players they would like. One may wonder whether their luck has run out this campaign, with little other than Jermain Defoe suggesting they have what it takes to beat the drop.
Roberto Firmino – We saw what many will call the result of the season on Saturday lunchtime at Anfield, as Swansea City ran out 3-2 winners over Liverpool. Liverpool were shell-shocked as the Swans netted three goals, with a couple of superb efforts. Roberto Firmino did his best to drag Liverpool back into the game with two strikes, but it wouldn’t be enough to take a point. Jurgen Klopp was furious to see his side slip up against a side that have shown very little in terms of results this season, and will know that are they to achieve a top four finish, they will have to improve against sides lower down the table.
Kevin De Bruyne – Spurs came from two goals down to take a late point at the Etihad against Manchester City on Saturday evening. A superb pass from Kevin De Bruyne put through Leroy Sane, before a horrendous error from Hugo Lloris left the German youngster with an open net to give City the lead. It would get worse for Lloris, who then spilled a tame effort straight to De Bruyne, who finished. The game would then hinge on a penalty claim on Raheem Sterling, before goals from Dele Alli and Heung Min-Son gave Spurs a controversial point. The equaliser came from a flowing move, before Son swept the ball into the bottom left corner past Claudio Bravo, who now has the highest percentage of shots conceded in the league.
Darren Fletcher – Darren Fletcher netted West Brom’s opener as they faced Sunderland on Saturday. When Gareth McAuley nodded on a corner, Fletcher neatly took the ball down before finishing smartly past Italian Vito Mannone in the Sunderland goal. Fletcher has been on good form for the Baggies this season, although there will undoubtedly be competition for places in the side after they shelled out £10 million to buy Jake Livermore from Hull City. West Brom now find themselves in 8th position in the Premier League, but with a nine-point gap between them and a continental qualification place.
Fernando Llorente – The big Spaniard has been heavily linked with a switch to Chelsea in this window, with Michy Batshuayi potentially arriving on loan in the other direction. There was no questioning Llorente’s commitment to the cause at Swansea though, as he netted a brace against Liverpool before Gylfi Sigurdsson’s late winner. The first came when Federico Fernandez headed across the area, with the second coming courtesy of a superb cross from new signing, Tom Carroll. The former Spurs and QPR man joined the Swans this month in pursuit of regular first-team football, and impressed on his debut for his new side.
Andy Carroll – The former Newcastle and Liverpool man was in great form as West Ham continued a good run with victory over Middlesbrough at the Riverside. Carroll opened the scoring after just ten minutes when he headed home powerfully from a Manuel Lanzini corner. His second would come after Christian Stuani had equalised for ‘Boro, with the big man slotting home after Victor Valdes could only parry Michail Antonio’s effort. Jonathan Calleri netted his first Hammers goal late on to seal the points, albeit courtesy of a huge ricochet off a ‘Boro defender. It’s a great result for West Ham, considering Middlesbrough have the third most clean sheets of any side in the Premier League this season.
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RNevin7)